Tag Archives: Record

Live Rough Trade

4 Apr

Rough Trade Live!
Rough Trade
Year: 1977

Live albums are supposed to be live…From a show.
This is a live album – from a studio. The album was cut directly to the disk. No editing the master. No fix it in post.
Most live albums have quite a bit of enhancing done, even to the point where the band will rerecord bits in a studio.
So this is a more live record than most live albums, right?
Rough Trade was a interesting band that hits its peak in the late 1970s/Early 1980s. They were kind of punk – but not really. They had a very original but raunchy sound. Kinda punk… but not really. Here their sound is more refined – jazzy even. Night-clubby. Well rehearsed.
It sounds like a dress rehearsal of a band just before they go out on tour. You do not get a feel that the band is playing to an audience here – they are playing to and off each other. They do this very well but the result is a bit flat.
It’s a direct off the floor recording that has smoothed out al the jagged edges that Rough Trade had. I remember seeing them live. They were a great act that really played with the audience. This is an interesting album but not a good reflection of what Rough Trade was.

 

 

 

 

 

George Thorogood

27 Mar

Move it on Over
George Thorogood and the Destroyers
Year: 1978

This is a fun album. Seriously fun.

There is some serious music here. Serious blues music.

But man, what fun it is to listen to this album.
George Thorogood was just about peaking at this time – this was his second album released, and the guitar playing is fantastic. The album songs are mostly blues standards – by the like of Willie Dixon, Elmore James, James Moore (better known as Slim Harpo), Bo Diddley. But there is also a Hank Williams tune and Cocaine Blues a Johnny Cash standard that was written by T.J. Arnall.
The main thing that that cements this album together is the energy that Mr. Thorogood and his Destroyers unleash in every song. Whether it is an up-tempo piece like the Chuck Berry tune It wasn’t Me or the slower Elmore James classic, The Sky is Crying, the music is makes you want to groove – makes you want to go out and see some blues in a club …

2112

20 Mar

2112
Rush
Year: 1977
This album had disappeared from my collection for many years. Most of my Rush albums had vanished along with others. I must have lent them out – but to whom?
I’m listening to Rush’s 2112 because I stumbled across it in a thrift store. Good buy at two bucks. The album is in fairly good conditions so there are no problems there.
After many years of not hearing the music I was quite taken aback by the songs here – they are a lot heavier than what I remember them being. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart were masters at combining hard rock with progressive rock and nothing shows this more than the title track which takes up the whole first side of the album and clocks in at a healthy 20 minutes and 36 seconds. It is a nice piece but it differs considerably from other epic long length songs from such progressive stalwarts such as Yes or Genesis. Those bands had a more pastoral and flowing feeling to their music. Rush has a hard edge born in the age of industry. Even the quiet-contemplative bits telegraph a jarring reality that is not heard in any other prog-rock outfit. Is it Lee’s voice? Is it Peart’s brilliant drumming? Is it Lifeson’s guitar? It is Rush being Rush and being excellent at that.

Weekly Vinyl – Singing and Yodeling

28 Feb

Apres-ski (potpourri) Singing and Yodeling
Franz and Toni
Year: 1972(ish)

I bought this album for the cover.
No doubt.
I love skiing and have always wanted to go ski in the Alps.
I’m assuming this is an Austrian because of the banner in front of the ski hut.
The album itself is a collection of 15 songs. The first one is the coolest…
Auf der Hutt’n is a jaunty little dirge that will get you to sing along – “Hey,hey,hey,hey… Ho,ho,ho,ho.” You gotta hear it to believe it. My daughter cringes when I put this album on, or others like it, but she does groove to the opening tune. Now if I could convince her to do a TikTok video to it.
The rest of the album is OK. Music that you would hear in a ski chalet in a German speaking part of the world. I think, never been. Waltzes, polkas and such styles abound. My one complaint is that there is not enough yodeling. There is some – but not enough to meet my expectation given the subhead of the album’s title. I was expecting it to be chock-a-block with yodeling. I was expecting a yodelocalypse.
There is some yodeling.
It is nice yodeling.
It is just not enough yodeling.

Weekly Vinyl – Genesis Bootleg

5 Apr

White Mountain U.K. Tour 1976
Genesis
(1976)
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This is my brother’s album that has been sitting in my collection for a while. He was the big Genesis fan and I’m sure that he shelled out a relatively fair amount for this recording. The record is a Danish bootleg of a UK tour. If you are a Genesis fan then you will be interested to know that Peter Gabriel is not here but Steve Hackett still is. Bill Bruford is on drums and Phil Collins does the vocals. Unlike a lot of bootlegs from the 70s, the quality of the audio recording is actually quite good. It was undoubtabley recorded directly from the mixing board. The music is not as crisp as their live Second’s Out LP, which came out in 1977, but the album is not murky in any way. This is a good quality bootleg with amazing music. This is a progressive rock dinosaur showcasing its technical music as all around, punk rock is breaking out and making prog-rock virtually extinct.

Weekly Vinyl – The Best of Mario Lanza

22 Mar

The Best of Mario Lanza
Mario Lanza
(1960)

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I pulled this our of my collection and I have no idea how I got this album. I have seen it around when I scroll through the collection, my wall of records is in no order – blissfully unorganized, but have never listened to it. I was tempted to go visit the Mario Lanza museum when I was in Philadelphia but I went for a cheese steak instead. Gotta say, Mario Lanza had an amazing tenor and this recording shows the voice well. The backing music is a bit too saccharine laced for my liking, but it is very period. Lanza died in 1959 so this album has that late fifties sound. This music just begs to be listened to on vinyl with a bit of hiss and the odd pop thrown in.

Weekly Vinyl – Forever Man (Maxi Single)

15 Mar

Forever Man (Maxi Single)
Eric Clapton
(1985)
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I was a bit surprised when I pulled this out. I don’t recall acquiring this maxi-single. I must have gotten it as a package with other albums at some garage sale.
Whatever the case this disk features three songs. One of the songs, Forever Man appears on Clapton’s Behind the Sun album. It appears alone on side A and is one of Clapton’s big hits. I’m actually quite lukewarm to this song. It has the aura of a big band production. It also reminds me a bit of the song Layla, Clapton’s big hit with Derek and the Dominos.
The song that really stands out, for me, is Too Bad. This song was produced by non-other than erstwhile Genesis drummer/frontman Phil Collins. It has a great simple blues feel to it. The production is simple and very honest. This makes it stand out and makes holding onto this disk worthwhile.
The final song is Behind the Sun and the less I say about it the better.

Weekly Vinyl – Cajun Paradise

8 Mar

Cajun Paradise
Wayne Toups and the Crowley Aces
(1979)
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It’s hard for me to differentiate the quality of Cajun music. It all goes to the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever heard any bad Cajun music. I have heard excellent music in this genre. The worst I could say about any Cajun music is that it is typical. Not bad, but OK. Wayne Toups and his Crowley Aces are not in the excellent category. They seem to lack flair in this recording. Their playing is measured and has a feel that the band is holding a lot back in terms of energy and excitement. To be fair, this music has to be experienced live to really come out. This album was recorded when he was just 21, and was released in Europe before he made a career for himself in his native USA. I picked this up in a bin in Switzerland where I got a lot of good interesting albums to be sure.

Weekly Vinyl – The Romantic Cello Music of Spain

1 Mar

The Romantic Cello Music of Spain
Janos Starker
(1968)
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When I pulled this album out of the stack I though that this was just going to be a run of the mill classical album. I like the cello. I like the sound it makes – the deeply melodic, soulful sound. I gave it a listen and was impressed. The music was not as “romantic” as I thought. I was expecting much more saccharine pap and what I heard was quite pleasant but not entirely memorable. The album has descriptions of the musical pieces presented on this recording and this makes for some interesting reading. I did a quick search on Wikipedia in a vain hope that I would find out something more about the cellist, Janos Starker, than was given in the notes on the cover. Behold, this is not some little vanity project by an obscure cellist. This guy, Starker, has over 160 recordings to his name and apparently recorded all works composed for the cello.

Weekly Vinyl – Party

22 Feb

Party
Iggy Pop
(1981)
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This is a strange one as I’m not a big Iggy Pop fan. This album is probably the reason I’m so lukewarm to this artist. Mind you, I like artists that reinvent themselves and experiment with new sounds and genres. But this… At times I had to get up and look at the spinning record to make sure that this was Iggy Pop on the turntable. Take for example Happy Man, a faux ska-like ditty that follows the passable tune called Pumpin’ for Jill. What were they thinking? 1981 was the year that New Wave was cresting on the shores of popularity and some of these tunes are obviously attempts to cash in on this music trend that it is quite embarrassing. Just listen to the final track, Time won’t let me – sheesh… Party is a muddled album that is more suitable to be background music to everyday activities than to actually party to.
NB: After writing this, I listened to it again. Does not get any better … it gets worse.